CHP head: Gov’t uses military retrials to cover up corruption claims

Photo: CHP head: Gov’t uses military retrials to cover up corruption claims / Turkey

Government-initiated talks about retrying former military personnel over the controversial Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) cases are just an effort to divert the country's agenda from the multi-billion dollar corruption and bribery probe, the main opposition party leader stressed, but said no efforts will help the ruling party to escape the corruption investigation, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Having said that, Kemal Kilichdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), called on the government to work together to correct the judicial mistakes of the past, mainly associated with these two cases that put hundreds of high-ranking officials behind bars.

"They want to cover up the theft. Now they seek another way for it. They are talking about injustice of the part. 'Unfairness took place at the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases, we just realized it,' they say. They want to change the agenda.

"We told you a hundred times that the right to defense (during the Ergenekon and Balyozc cases) was violated. We urged you about fake evidence.

An ongoing struggle between the government and the Hizmet Movement flared up after a wide corruption and graft operation that also had links with cabinet members was revealed, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) wanted to distract attention from the corruption operation after a prime minister advisor claimed the movement plotted against the army. The Chief of General Staff issued a criminal complaint about it and the government has started to work on ways how to secure retrials of hundreds of former military officers, including former chief of general staff, Ilker Bashbug.

Although the CHP is not against retrying former military personnel, it underlines this process should not cover up the corruption claims. "Whatever you do, you can't let this shoe box disappear (from the public opinion's agenda)," he said. The shoe boxes have easily became the symbol of corruption claims, as approximately $4.5 million was found in shoe boxes of the general director of the country's leading public bank. Have you ever heard of a prime minister scared of a shoe box? A woman shows a shoe box to the prime minister and then she gets detained. Why are you so afraid of a shoe box?" Kilichdaroglu asked.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been ruling Turkey for the last 11 years and is still talking about the existence of gangs, recalled Kilichdaroglu, "And you were unaware of it?

Criticizing journalists and media heads that joined Erdogan's meeting Jan. 4 in Istanbul for not asking questions over corruption claims, Kilichdaroglu asked, "If you say there is a parallel state plotting against you, then why did you dismiss these four ministers?"

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